Training toolkit: Integrating the environment into humanitarian action
and early recovery

Whether through direct damage to land, water or air, or through coping strategies that indirectly stress natural resources, environmental impacts in the aftermath of disasters and conflicts can leave populations with a degraded natural resource base and greater vulnerability to future events. At the same time, the relief and recovery operations that follow can sometimes cause as much environmental damage as the crises to which they were designed to respond. Unsustainable techniques used during the humanitarian phase, combined with short-term planning and ad hoc response mechanisms, can leave disaster and conflict-prone regions on trajectories that continue to over-exploit natural resources, leading to a degradation of the very ecosystems needed for the recovery and rebuilding of livelihoods for the affected population.

In response to this issue, UNEP and Groupe URD have developed a training toolkit to assist humanitarian actors to integrate environmental considerations into their policy development, planning, programme design and operational activities. The training toolkit consists of 11 modules, with each substantive module containing a summary, PowerPoint presentation, trainer’s guide, training materials and key supporting documents.

The modules are designed to be adjusted to the local context and used as specific training needs and timeframes require. For example, trainers may choose to present a more limited number of substantive modules when there is less time available for the training; and case studies and photos/illustrations in the PowerPoint presentations can, and should, be adapted to reflect local contexts and relate to local issues.

These modules have been developed using practical experience as well as feedback and suggestions from trainers and training participants. As the training toolkit is intended to be a living tool that will continually evolve as it is used and applied, UNEP and Groupe URD welcome any feedback regarding the improvement of existing modules or the development of new modules.

To request a DVD copy of the training toolkit or to provide UNEP with further feedback on its training toolkit and online resource centre, please contact us via email at:

This training toolkit has been developed with the support of the
Flemish International Cooperation Agency.

List of contributors

Natalie Barefoot (UNEP)
Tom Delrue (UNEP)
Blanche Renaudin (Groupe URD)

Tom Delrue (UNEP) / modules 3, 10
Florence Gilbert (Groupe URD) / modules 3, 7
Rob McConnell (Consultant) / module 8
Julie Patinent (Groupe URD) / modules 4, 9
Blanche Renaudin (Groupe URD) / modules 1, 2, 3, 6, 10, 11
Eva Roben (Consultant) / module 5
Eve Schneider (Groupe URD) / module 6
Bonaventure Sokpoh (Groupe URD) / module 7

Translation / Layout / Support
Pierre Brunet (Groupe URD)
Lucas de Muelenaere (UNEP)
Hannoa Guillaume (UNEP)
Matija Potocnik (UNEP)
Louise Roudil (Groupe URD)
Etienne Sutherland (Groupe URD)

Ivan Blazevic (UNEP) / modules 3, 5
Michael Cowing (Consultant) / module 5
Hassan Partow (UNEP) / module 4